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Far from home, Inter Milan tops rival AC Milan 2-0

DIEGO Milito scored his first of two goals in the opening minutes to lead Inter Milan to a 2-0 victory over Serie A rival AC Milan yesterday in a friendly during their preseason tour of America.

The crowd of 42,531 leaned heavily toward AC Milan, and they were quieted in the fourth minute when Milito chased the ball down to the left of the goal and guided it between the goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac and the near post. He gave Inter a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute on a 2-on-1 break with Dejan Stankovic, who drew the defender and passed to Milito for the shot that bounced off and over the keeper into the net.

The clubs that share a home in foggy San Siro had met outside Italy only twice: in Chiasso, Switzerland, in 1908 and at Yankee Stadium in 1969. But they came to the United States as part of an friendly tournament known as the World Football Classic.

Inter star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not with the team; he is expected in Barcelona on Monday for a physical that would complete the deal that would send striker Samuel Eto'o and midfielder Aleksandr Hleb to the Italian champions.

Milan and Chelsea sold out the 71,000-seat home stadium of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens on Friday night. But yesterday's match on a warm New England afternoon was played with the upper deck half-closed and the lower bowl empty at one end because the seats were obstructed by the enormous stage for Tuesday night's AC/DC concert. (Also obstructed was the press box, forcing the media to be relocated into luxury suites.)

Although the rivalry between the teams has been bitter, there was little animosity for the friendly and even a few smiles - and gasps from the crowd - when referee Jorge Gonzalez held up a red card for Milan's Ronaldinho in the 34th minute but quickly realized his mistake and replaced it with a yellow one.

Inter was rarely tested, though Julio Cesar made a pair of tough saves at around the 70th minute, when it was still 1-0, and another on Alessandro Nesta in stoppage time, just before the final whistle.


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